Wet Willy Scotch Ale
New England Brewing Co.

Wet Willy Scotch AleWet Willy Scotch Ale
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Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy
Ranked #84
Ranked #14,238
3.93 | pDev: 11.2%
New England Brewing Co.
Connecticut, United States
Very Good
Wet Willy Scotch AleWet Willy Scotch Ale
Reviews: 157 | Ratings: 320 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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WhiteHillsStore from Connecticut

4.21/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a lovely dark auburn color with an off white head that laces the glass. The smell is full of wood but also some sweet flavors such as plum and toasted brown sugar. The taste starts off sweet with molasses and some dark fruits but wasn't too syrupy and finished rather smooth and with a nice semi-sweet aftertaste. Would highly recommend for lovers of big flavor beers.

May 12, 2015
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metter98 from New York

4.04/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is relatively clear amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high off white head.
S: Moderate aromas of toffee are present in the nose. The smell becomes stronger as the beer warms up.
T: Just like the smell, the taste is quite malty and is dominated by flavors of toffee. Some hints of caramel and faint bits of sweetness are also noticeable.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer does a remarkable job at hiding its alcohol, but I would be content with sipping and favoring this as a dessert beer.

Serving type: bottle

Jan 04, 2015
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sulldaddy from Connecticut

4.54/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I am sampling a 5 year old 12 oz bottle poured into a snifter at cellar temp. I bought these at the brewery and have had a couple of these over time, this is my last one, im hopeful for good things.
The beer pours a clear mahogany color with minimal beige head that fades very quickly to nothing during the sampling. There is just a little bit of brown sediment on the bottom of my glass.
Very sweet and malty nose with brown sugar, raisins, some vanilla, and still some warm fusol booziness. Even after all these years it still obviously packs some punch.

First sip reveals some brown sugar and caramel with a bit of dark fruit and a bit of vanilla mixed in on the finish. The flavors are generally sweet and actually cover the booze with no hints of the alcohol on the swallow or anywhere else.
Texture is very silky smooth and drinks very easy, with very fine carbonation that is gentle and caresses my palate. Beer goes down with no issues.
This brew is amazingly easy to drink for 10% and I wish I had stashed a few more bottles as they are probably just about perfect right now.

Dec 13, 2014
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GreesyFizeek from New York

2.95/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

'11 vintage, extra'ed to me in a trade recently.

Pours fairly still, with a little bit of fizz on top, and no lacing. Looks kind of watery.

Smells weirdly flat, some caramel, toffee, but also booze, and some mild oxidation.

The oxidation feel gets much stronger in the flavor. There's a bitter flat cardboard flavor, and astringent alcohol that gets stronger as it warms up further. Beyond those distracting opening flavors, I also get some caramel, toffee, and peaty smokiness. But those flavors are flat and don't feature strongly enough. It's way too sweet, cloying even, and just doesn't work. I'm sure fresh that this one is much nicer.

It's sweet and syrupy, mouthfeel-wise, with a medium body, but it's a little thin for a beer of it's style and ABV. There's barely any carbonation.

This one is just too old. It hasn't held up well.

Sep 29, 2014
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jaasen64 from Massachusetts

4.2/5  rDev +6.9%

Bottle from '09 (cellared by Nikki's, purchased for $6).

A- Pours a clear amber color with a golden hue, a bit on the flat side without any head and not a lot of noticeable carbonation (3.5)

S- Aromas of dark fruits, plums, malts, light caramel, a bit of oxidation, gets better as it warms up (4)

T- Taste of sweet dark malts, plums, lightly syrupy caramel, butterscotch, and a bit of oxidation that blends well with the beer. Again opens up as it warms a bit, fairly tasty for it's age and lives up to the aroma (4.25)

M- A tiny bit light for the style, more carbonation then the appearance would lead you to believe with a little bit of a fizzy presence, fairly drinkable with just a mild boozy presence for 10%, just a very slight hint of syrupiness (4.25)

O- This was a nice beer for being 5 years old, I haven't had it fresh but I imagine it's right around it's peak right now but could maybe hold up for a couple more years. For $6 you can't go wrong, I may go back and pick up a couple more (4.25)

Aug 27, 2014
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Stevedore from Oregon

3.86/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

500ml bottle poured into an unlabeled snifter 5/30/2014.

A- Dark brown amber body. Clear. One finger white head with short retention time. Not much lacing.

S- Tons of toffee, glazed caramel, brown sugar. Sweet but a beautiful smelling nose with a nice complexity.

F- Lot of toffee and molasses. A component reminds me of tapioca, like what is used in bubble tea. A hint of holiday spices. Even a bit of glazed donut frosting. Very sweet and one of the first scotch ales that I've found to be more than just a simple toffee bomb.

M- Medium bodied, even slightly syrupy, low in carbonation but about par for the style. Sweet, sweet finish that is unfortunately taken down quite a bit by a strong, boozy fusel flavour that leaves a hot finish as it goes down. I'm just not a fan of that type of booziness. Certainly a sipper.

O- Very interesting and quite sweet scotch ale that I actually find myself enjoying despite its heavy fusel character.

May 31, 2014
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illpass78 from Maine

3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16.9 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a murky, cloudy orange with a short white head. It's very dense. Lacing minimal.

Aroma: The smell is complex and fairly unique. Lots of dark fruit, figs, dates, raisins, and sweetness. There's also toffee, burnt sugar, and a fair amount of booze. I also smell a note of apricot.

Taste: The taste follows the nose and is similarly complex and challenging. It's sweet, right up to the very edge of cloying, but doesn't cross it. The dark fruits dominate for me. Definitely a sipper.

Mouthfeel: It has a nice, thick body and a fairly smooth finish considering the high alcohol.

Overall: I enjoyed this. The high alcohol and complex flavors make it a bit of a challenge on the palate, but it a good way, for sure. Put the keys away and give it a try.

Apr 27, 2014
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rjp217 from Massachusetts

3.91/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle (no date) into a tulip...

A - A dark orange look with a small head that dissipates immediately and no lace, meh

S - Difficult for me to pull any aroma out of this. I get some muted caramel and maybe some dark fruits but that is about it

T - Really shines here... Toffee, molasses, candy and raisins stand out big time. Pretty complex

M - Great body, silky smooth and a heavy booze presence

O - This beer is a bit of a monster. The 10% wacks you in the face. Definitely a sipper. The taste and mouthfeel are outstanding. Reminds me of an alcoholic fruit roll up. Good stuff.

Feb 24, 2014
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C20Percent from Virginia

4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A little surprised this is ranked so low. The appearance isn't anything to write home about. A bit lighter than expected, and pretty murky; not much head. The money is in the aroma and flavor. Super solid taste. Nice sweet caramel goodness with an appropriate hit ness. Dark fruits and all. Way good. The feel is also nice. Creamier than expected. Feels really good in the mouth. Overall, highly recommended. My bottle was aged two years. So that might make a difference. If you can get a bottle, then sit on it and drink it later.

Oct 17, 2013
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oberon from North Carolina

3.99/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky brown apricot copper color?A thinner slight off white head settles into a frothy mass.Fruit and caramel toffee mainly in the nose,quite alcoholic.Big chewey and yes alcoholic on the palate,cutting through the alcohol is dark fruit and more cramel toffee with a big hit of that warming alcohol in the finish all the way down.This feels all of 10% but it's made to sip and savor and it's great for that,I like it.

Oct 02, 2013
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papat444 from Canada (QC)

4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500ml bottle, dated 12/2012.

Appearance: Pours a dirty, light brown body, thick & lasting head that seamlessly melds with the sides of the glass.

Smell: Smoky, caramel, rich.

Taste: Full on malt, rich warming, peaty a bit, heavy on the caramel, very sweet as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Very low carbonation, silky feel, covers the mouth.

Overall: Only saw now, a few days after i tasted it, that the ABV is 10%. In no way is that apparent. Great pick.

Aug 25, 2013
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joeseppy from Illinois

3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep golden honey with garnet highlights. One inch head dissipates quickly with a stratospheric top and foam hugs the ridge.

Booze stands front in the nose followed by a toffee/caramel with toasted nut and sweet malt aroma. Some allspice.

Again booze upfront on the taste buds balanced nicely with the malt and mild hop. Mellow burnt toffee.

Very mellow brew that finishes smoooth! I would compare a likeness of this to a Firestone Double DBA.

Overall nicely done. One needs to like a bit-o-booze and expect it in this quaff. Again, nicely balanced and not one characteristics outweighs the other. Only wish it were in my area as I would definitely git mo' of the Weee William.

Aug 10, 2013
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JoeyBeerBelly from New York

4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle served in a large beer mug.

L - murky rust color with a thin beige head that just went away in a few minutes.

S - sweet toffee and burnt brown sugar.

T - sweetness upfront with the alcohol making itself known finishing with some light bitterness.

F - medium bodied, mild carbonation with some alcohol warming.

O - good example of the style.

Jul 08, 2013
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Daktyls from Massachusetts

3.89/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy, slightly reddish amber color with minimal head that dissipates to a very small patch of lacing that seemingly struggles to maintain itself.

S: Light notes of caramel, some hoppiness and very light notes of yeast are present, almost a breadiness. Some alcohol is present in the nose as well.

T: Dark fruits dominate with sugary sweetness in the background along with a very slight hop profile. Some sweeter notes of vanilla and toffee are present on the finish.

M: A very full bodied beer with a 'boozey' quality to it, thick and syrupy on the tongue.

O: Overall, very tasty and enjoyable, not the best Scotch Ale, but definitely one that I would purchase, and enjoy, again.

Mar 17, 2013
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BirdsandHops from Oregon

3.54/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a murky brown with a finger of beige head that fades into a thin ring with no lacing.

S: Loads of caramel malts with notes of vanilla, sweet breads, and graham crackers. Slight alcohol aroma as well.

T: Sticky caramel malts dominate with vanilla and hints of toffee. Sweet bready flavors are also present with a moderate alcohol presence.

M: Medium-thick body with lowish carbonation, this beer avoids being too sticky sweet.

O: A pretty decent Scotch ale overall. Not terribly complex and a bit boozy, but still enjoyable.

Jan 31, 2013
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sommersb from Tennessee

3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted On: 11-28-2012
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 500 ml brown bottle, pry-cap covered in plastic
Glassware: Thistle
Purchased: Received in a trade

Pours a hazy red/orange color, capped by a moderate sized tan head. Head retention is good, with a fair amount of lacing clinging to the glass.

Aromas feature sweet, bready malts, molasses, and dark fruits such as dates and raisins.

The taste is very rich and flavorful, with pretty big boozy notes. Flavors include dark fruits, caramelized malt, and an oak character. Fairly sweet, with just a slight bitterness. Mouthfeel is thick and full-bodied, and a moderate amount of carbonation. Finishes malty sweet, with significant alcohol warming.

Overall this is a potent Scotch ale; a tour de force in maltiness and booziness...

Thanks to merc7186 for this one!

Nov 29, 2012
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DrinkSlurm from New York

4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 500ml bottle into hf tulip. Not sure of the vintage.
Pours a copper haze almost ruby brown. Oily thick looking with thin thin head.
Lots of caramel and toffee aromas.
Taste is very sweet toffee and bitter slight hop flavor but the characteristic scotch flavors are present but not overwhelming. Nice brew...id love to age this for a while.

Nov 11, 2012
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davey101 from Connecticut

4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 vintage, 500ml bottle into a NEBCO flute glass served at cellar temperature.

A - Pours a clear dark red color with a bit of sediment. Initial pour yields a two finger off white head which doesn't stick around for too long. Settles into a thin cap and edging. Moderate amount of lacing and retention.

S - Toffee, caramelized malts and dark fruits, and vanilla rich butterscotch. A bit of an alcohol tingle on the end.

T - Loads of rich caramel and toffee. Light notes of vanilla and butterscotch, Not super complex or full of flavors, but its very rich and tasty. A touch of alcohol warmth but its very faint and only helps with the flavor profile. Finish is of sweet butterscotch candy.

M - Creamy and medium bodied with silky carbonation. Slightly dry finish with only a lingering buttery rich candy flavor. Very smooth with no alcohol heat.

O - This beer is excellent, and with nearly a year on it its drinking so well. Can't wait to try a fresh bottle in a few weeks. One of the more enjoyable scotch ales I've had.

Oct 26, 2012
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alexgash from Connecticut

4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle.

Slightly hazy ruby orange-red. Finger of dense, creamy, dirty beige head. Very nice lacing and retention. Very malty sweet nose. Candied fruits, rich caramel, peat malt, whiskey, and some rum.

Scorched caramel up front. Becomes fruitier and sweet and caramelier Slight woody, tannic bitterness around the edges. Whiskeyish, peaty notes near the finish. Woody bitterness in the finish with lots of lingering caramel and fruit. Medium-full body, with a softly carbonated feel. Delicious and quite drinkable.

Oct 21, 2012
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abrand from Illinois

3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle poured into pint glass.

Pours a copper color with a slight haziness to it. Not much of a head is noticed after an aggressive pour. Good carbonation is seen. Smells slightly sweet with toffee and caramel. Plenty of malts on the nose. Bready doughs also come through as it warms. Taste is great. Nice sweetness with candy up front and a slight bitter finish. Very enjoyable. Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Overall this is great. Very good scotch beer. Straight forward.

Sep 08, 2012
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Boto from Connecticut

3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught @ Willimantic Brewery: Served in a snifter. There was no head or lacing with this one. It was a ruby tinged brown color. The aroma was a bit lighter than expected. Some caramel sweetness, and maybe some oak. The taste is very good. Very smooth. Some sweet citrus, dark fruits and some caramel and smokiness.

Aug 26, 2012
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chugalug06 from Colorado

4.16/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One-finger head grows upon a cloudy brown brew with lots of orange and red. Head has heavy yellow/green glow to it.

Very herbal and propely sweet. A mild roar comes from the depths of my Southampton snifter. Lots of big caramel

Very dry and high in ABV, but it's hardly noticeable when you get into it. Sweetness is mild and very well done. Spices come across my tongue and leave me with an almost fig-y feel/flavor. You can feel the heat, but it's very well made.

A three hour boil! Wow! Worth waiting for, this was a delicious brew, thanks Andy for sharing! Don't judge this brew by its appearance.. There's lots of love in this fine brew.

Aug 12, 2012
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claspada from New Jersey

4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown mahogany color with a bit of an off white head that dissipates almost immediately leaving some spotty lacing.

Aromas begin with caramel maltiness mixed with equal amounts of butterscotch, dark fruits, toasted bread and a hint of booze.

The taste follows the nose and brings out toffee, dark fruit and spice notes of cinnamon and nutmeg. After the toffee opening, the earthy and peaty flavors move in, balanced by a bit of drying alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Finish is actually rather crisp, sharp and dry compared to many sweeter ales in this category.

Overall this was a good scotch ale but not anything amazing or worthy of seeking out if you can get something similar easier. Alesmith and Traquir still make the best examples of the style (one domestic, one imported) but I see no reason to seek this Wet Willy out over any of them which I can locate much easier.

Aug 07, 2012
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jmarsh123 from Indiana

4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to fortsambo for the extra.

Pours hazy dark gold/orange. Almost looks like a wheatwine. Small off-white head with decent lacing.

Smells very caramelly with some peat and grain.

Very smooth sweet flavors. Again heavy on the caramel and toffee. I know it's not, but it does almost taste like it's got some barrel notes to it. Thankfully the peat is fairly subdued in the flavor. Still a bit sweet.

Thick mouthfeel although gets a little towards syrupy especially at it warms.

Pretty solid beer although not without flaws. I see there's a bourbon aged version of this, which would be awesome because this beer seems like a great candidate for barrel aging.

Jul 20, 2012
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trxxpaxxs from New York

4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a semi-translucent copper with deeper red hues. There is about one full finger of off-white head that settles in a decent amount of time. Seriously great lacing as it drinks.

S: The nose is caramel, peat, and what I swear is barrel aging. I know this hasn't seen a barrel treatment, but there is some mellow boozy heat in there.

T: Starts out nice and sweet, big caramel notes. Those mix well with some spice and booze heat. The bottle I'm drinking is over a year old, and it's better than I remember fresh.

M: Medium bodied beer. Sweet and cloying to start, smooths out in the middle, and finishes with a boozy and spicy kick.

O: Really solid beer. I'm usually not a big fan of Scotch Ales, but this is nice. I'd drink this again no problem.

Jul 18, 2012
Wet Willy Scotch Ale from New England Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 320 ratings